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Plantain family
Scoparia dulcis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Plantaginaceae



Antirrhinaceae Pers.
Aragoaceae D.Don
Callitrichaceae Link nom. cons.
Chelonaceae Martinov
Digitalaceae Martinov
Ellisiophyllaceae Honda
Globulariaceae DC. nom. cons.
Gratiolaceae Martinov
Hippuridaceae Vest nom. cons.
Littorellaceae Gray
Psylliaceae Horan.
Sibthorpiaceae D.Don
Veronicaceae Cassel

Plantaginaceae, the plantain family, is a family of flowering plants in the order Lamiales. The type genus is Plantago L..

In older classifications it used to be the only family of the order Plantaginales, but numerous phylogenetic studies, summarized by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, have demonstrated that this taxon should be included within Lamiales.


The plantain family as traditionally circumscribed consisted of only three genera, Bougueria, Littorella, and Plantago. However, new phylogenetic research has indicated that Plantaginaceae s.s. (s.s. = sensu stricto, in the strict sense) were nested within Scrophulariaceae (but forming a group that did not include the type genus of that family, Scrophularia). Although Veronicaceae (1782) is the oldest family name for this group, Plantaginaceae (1789) is a conserved name under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) and thus has priority over any earlier family name for a family including Plantago. Furthermore, the ICBN does not consider family names published before 1789 to be names eligible for conservation, thus ruling out Veronicaceae. The name Antirrhinaceae has been proposed for conservation over Plantaginaceae. In the meantime, the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group has accepted the name Plantaginaceae. However, Olmstead (2003) has chosen to use the name Veronicaceae.

Plantaginaceae s.l. (s.l. = sensu lato, in the broad sense) are a diverse, cosmopolitan family, occurring mostly in temperate zones. The group consists of herbs, shrubs and also a few aquatic plants with roots (such as the genus Callitriche). Being so diverse, the circumscription of this family is difficult to establish.

The leaves are spiral to opposite and simple to compound. Unusual in Lamiales is the absence of vertical partitions in the heads of the glandular hairs.

The structure and form of the flowers is variable. Some genera are 4-merous (i.e. with 4 sepals and 4 petals), such as Aragoa (but this one has 5 sepals); others are 5-8-merous, such as Sibthorpia. The flowers of most genera are polysymmetric. The corolla is often two-lipped. In some taxa, the androecium is formed before the corolla.

The fruit is a capsule that dehisces through the partitions between the cells.

A group of genera including Lindernia has recently been segregated as the family Linderniaceae, and recognized by Haston et al. 2007, (also known as LAPG II) as "Post-APG II family".


The enlarged Plantaginaceae s.l. / Veronicaceae consists of 90 genera and about 1,700 species. The largest genus is Veronica with about 450 species. Veronica also includes the genera Hebe, Parahebe and Synthyris, formerly often treated as distinct. All genera of Plantaginaceae were formerly included in Scrophulariaceae except where otherwise stated.

Tribe Angelonieae
Tribe Antirrhineae
Tribe Callitricheae
Tribe Cheloneae
Tribe Digitalideae
Tribe Globularieae
Tribe Gratioleae
Tribe Hemiphragmeae
Tribe Plantagineae
Tribe Russelieae
Tribe Sipthorpieae
Tribe Veroniceae

Excluded genera


  1. Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-07-06. 
  2. "Family: Plantaginaceae Juss., nom. cons.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. 2003-01-17. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  3. ^ Albach, D. C.; Meudt, H. M.; Oxelman, B. (2005). "Piecing together the "new" Plantaginaceae". American Journal of Botany 92 (2): 297–315. doi:10.3732/ajb.92.2.297. PMID 21652407. 
  4. Oxelman, B.; Kornhall, P.; Olmstead, R. G.; Bremer, B. (2005). "Further disintegration of Scrophulariaceae". Taxon 54 (2): 411–425. doi:10.2307/25065369. JSTOR 25065369. 
  5. Rahmanzadeh, R., K. Müller, E. Fischer, D. Bartels & T. Borsch. 2005. The Linderniaceae and Gratiolaceae are further lineages distinct from the Scrophulariaceae (Lamiales). Pl. Biol. ( Stuttgart) 7: 67-78.
  6. Haston, E., Richardson, J. E., Stevens, P. F., Chase, M. W., Harris, D. J. (2007). "A linear sequence of Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II families". Taxon 56 (1): 7–12. doi:10.2307/25065731. 
  7. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Angelonieae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  8. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Antirrhineae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  9. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Callitricheae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  10. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Cheloneae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  11. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Digitalideae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  12. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Globularieae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  13. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Gratioleae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  14. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Hemiphragmeae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  15. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Plantagineae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  16. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Russelieae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  17. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Sipthorpieae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  18. "GRIN Genera of Plantaginaceae tribe Veroniceae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  19. "GRIN genera sometimes placed in Plantaginaceae". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
  • Olmstead, R. G., dePamphilis, C. W., Wolfe, A. D., Young, N. D., Elisons, W. J. & Reeves P. A. (2001). "Disintegration of the Scrophulariaceae". American Journal of Botany 88 (2): 348–361. doi:10.2307/2657024. JSTOR 2657024. PMID 11222255. 
  • Olmstead, R. G. (2003). "Whatever happened to the Scrophulariaceae?". Fremontia 30: 13–22. 

External links

  • Treatment of Plantaginaceae in MOBOT

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